An old proverb says,
"If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a week, get promoted.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help others."
Being connected to people, through service, is one of life's greatest joys.
And moreover, offering a helping hand to others can bless us in ways that we never thought possible, leading us to greater joy and fulfillment.
On the road of life, we can encounter challenges all along the way. But I believe if we persevere through life's shadows by doing kind deeds, soon light will shine forth into those darkened places, and we will be lifted up from despair into the glow of the sun.
A wise, long-time friend of mine once said, "I think if you stop thinking about your own situation, and focus on others —along with prayers and faith in God … you can get through anything."
So, instead of sitting around day after day, worrying and wondering how to solve our own problems, we must take the focus off of ourselves by doing something nice for someone else. Let's keep busy making a positive difference in the lives of our fellow human beings.
Extend your hand and heart. Coach a sports team. Help a neighbor with yard work. Take someone who doesn't drive to the grocery store. Tutor a child. Or mentor a young person. Your joy will be full, as love flows out, and brightens the life of others.
I receive letters from people who have lost their jobs and they explain that one way they get through changes and transitions is by volunteering. It may be at animal shelters, soup kitchens or hospitals. They also lend a hand at their children's schools and libraries, and assist the less fortunate.
A dear friend I know from town takes her petite white dog to visit the residents in senior citizen facilities. And I heard about a family who bakes dozens of cookies periodically for their local fire and police departments. They even send homemade baked goods overseas to our service men and women, as a 'thank you' for the selfless work that they do.
Lighten the burdens of another. Buy some groceries and donate them to a homeless shelter. Surprise someone with a small gift. Mail an encouraging greeting card to a person who may need cheering up. Uphold another in prayer. And lend a listening ear.
Often, a person who is sad or frustrated just needs someone who will listen. This will go a long way when someone has lost a loved one or suffered a similar loss.
Every day is a blessing from God. That's why we should make a decision to be generous with our affection, love and praise.
Last week, I saw a sign in a store window that read, "Only love matters." So let us be grateful for those nearest and dearest to us, and let's express over and over again how much we love and appreciate them.
Sometimes, how you say something counts more than what you say. Tenderly and sincerely utter, "I love you" to your spouse, and "I'm thankful for you," "You mean the world to me." Convey to your loved ones frequently, the qualities that you admire the most about them.
Embrace and hug your children daily and watch their eyes light up with joy as you tell them, "You are God's gift to me," "I am proud of you," "You're a blessing," and "I love you so much."
Help build up a young person's self-esteem by genuinely praising their one-of-a-kind abilities, efforts and good works. Encourage their dreams, regardless of how big or small they may be, by declaring, "I believe in you," "Always try and be your best," and "You have the ability to accomplish your goals."
You can also assist in boosting the spirits of your family members, friends, and co-workers, by sincerely complimenting them. Regard all people as important. And don't gossip, be critical or talk badly about others. I like the wisdom that a friend of mine's father always says, "Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, you can't get it back in." Thus, try not to say negative words about anyone. Instead, help improve the life of others by being kind, friendly and gracious to them. Let's make up our mind to be positive, for if we live, think and act positively, we will attract positive results.
William Shakespeare once wrote, "How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world."
Today, the world needs your light to shine brightly to make it a better place. Therefore, ask God to provide you with a way for His light to shine through you.
And, one little step at a time, by acts of helpfulness, kindness, and as you give to others, you will have … a lifetime of happiness.
Write to Catherine Galasso-Vigorito c/o New Haven Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT 06511.
I Am Enough
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Only Love Matters
An old proverb says,